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Multicultural Literature

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Using the guidelines listed below, choose a multicultural piece of literature to evaluate. Explain and justify whether each guideline is addressed in the book. If the guideline is not addressed, share how you think the book could be modified to include all of the guidelines for evaluating diversity in children's books.

Here are some guidelines for evaluating diversity in children's books:

Accurate representation of cultural specifics
Avoidance of stereotypes
Achievement
Author/illustrator
Copyright date
Sensibility
Language

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Junko Yokota (1993) defines authentic literature as that which shows evidence that the author and illustrator are intimately familiar with the culture. Culturally conscious literature is that in which the author is sensitive to aspects of cultures and makes the consciously effort to depict the fictional life experience. Every student should be represented, and accurately, in the literature used. Negative images and inaccurate stereotyping of people and cultures in children's fiction books is harmful to students whose ethnicity is being portrayed. Students should be able to see themselves and their lives reflected in the books they read to be encouraged and motivated in a positive way.

The National Education Association (NEA) provides a list of 50 Multi-cultural books every child should read. The list was originally compiled by the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is reprinted here with their permission http://www.nea.org/grants/29510.htm.v Examples/sources for appropriate multicultural pieces of literature per age:

Preschool multi-cultural books are:
- What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, illustrated by Ashley Bryan. Atheneum, 1995. (Multi-ethnic)
- One Afternoon by Yumi Heo. Scholastic, 1998. (Asian Pacific American)
- Grandmother's Nursery Rhymes/Las Nanas de Abuelita by Nelly Palacio Jaramillo, illustrated by Elivia. Henry Holt, 1996. (Latino)
- Drumbeat... Heartbeat: A Celebration of the Powwow by Susan Braine. Lerner Publishing Group, 1995. (American Indian)
- Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng, illustrated by Ange Zhang. Lee & Low Books , 2003. (Asian Pacific American)
- Halmoni and the Picnic by Sook Nyul Choi, illustrated by Karen Dugan. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1993. (Asian Pacific American)

Ages 5-7 ...

Solution Summary

As the diversity of our nation increases, so will the diversity in our classrooms. What are some ways in which teachers can help to ensure their students understand stereotyping and its negative impact on cultures around them? Download today and discover the guidelines for evaluating children's literature that is appropriate for diverse classrooms. In addition, the expert performs a book review on a piece of literature that would suit a diverse classroom perfectly for learning.

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Discuss and explain the following:

1. What criteria distinguish well-written multicultural children's literature from poorly written multicultural children's literature?

2. Is it important for teachers to use well-written multicultural books in their classrooms? Why or why not?

3. How can picture books in the classroom impact multicultural education? Explain.

Discuss and explain the following:

1. What criteria distinguish well-written multicultural children's literature from poorly written multicultural children's literature?

2. Is it important for teachers to use well-written multicultural books in their classrooms? Why or why not?

3. How can picture books in the classroom impact multicultural education? Explain.

What criteria distinguish well-written multicultural children's literature from poorly written multicultural children's literature?

? It will allow the students to see the world through the eyes of the character in the book. It is not so much a description of the cultural characteristics of the personalities in the book as it is an interpretation or worldview of life as seen through the eyes of the characters in the piece of literature.

? The literature must be accurate. In screening books for inclusion in the library be sure to research the information presented in the book. It should be current. Cultures change and many times older multicultural books or poorly researched books may have dated material in them that is no longer accurate. Be sure the books do not reinforce stereotypes.

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